For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come. Habakkuk 2:3 (KJV)
The month of January has always been a time for reflection for me. As the work timetable changes and we begin our holiday season it gives me a moment to push the pause button and begin to unwind.
But this year has been different. I finished work just before Christmas and have no job to go to in this current year. As many, reading this will testify, that when we as Christians believe a season is ended and it is time to move on, our non-Christian co- workers are surprised by our decisions to finish a job and not have a new job to go to.
It has created some interesting debate and as I shared my decision. I found that it left my co-workers confused when we bring faith in God into the conversation. They kind of dismissed it as me needing a break.
Early in January while sitting quietly in His presence I believe God gave me these words: “Don’t let what you want to do prevent what you’re meant to do.”
Whoa… I sat up. I wrote them down, and I felt at ease. I had sensed now for a while that there had been a number of distractions from what I’m meant to do. Usually when I have one of these moments and share them with my wife, she looks at me confidently and says, something as simple as, “Good.”
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Well, what am I meant to do?” While I am gaining an understanding of the answer to that question, I’m not ready to share it publicly quite yet. It’s been a four-year journey of unearthing one piece at a time–similar to a delicate excavation of a priceless relic, or a complicated jigsaw puzzle. My time will come to step into this journey publicly.
The Lord had called me to tarry in this season This has created the opportunity to continue with my encounter with the Living God in such a way to linger in expectation, enjoying the Person of God.
Tarry is an outdated word in our English vocabulary, but I think it is a great word to connect with Jesus in The Secret Place. Tarry is not loaded with too much preconceived meaning or cliché religious language. It provides a fresh word for a fresh experience. Tarrying in God’s presence takes us closer to God.
To tarry is to linger, to stay longer than expected, to have no agenda, or to encounter God’s presence for an extended period of time. When we tarry, we stay in the moment, fully engaged and attuned to the presence of God. Tarrying creates a space by which God’s presence slowly grows and manifests as we linger. As we tarry, just to be with God, God responds by revealing His presence to us.
An important aspect of tarrying is growing in the awareness of God’s presence. God is omnipresent, meaning God is everywhere at all times. But there are instances when God will manifest his presence in a tangible way where we encounter the living God and we do not “control” when God’s presence manifests. Please note when I say manifest, this can look different for different people. God is the one who decides when and how to manifest His presence.
The more I have practiced tarrying in recent years, the more naturally I have become attuned to the presence of God. When we attune our soul to God, we search for God’s presence, remaining open and aware.
A biblical example of tarrying in God’s presence is Anna from Luke 2:36-38. Anna “never left the temple area but worshiped God with fasting and prayer night and day.” Anna practiced a life of tarrying in God’s presence. She remained in the temple, the place where God’s presence resided during the temple period of Judaism.
We to can create or find physical spaces in our lives where God’s presence dwells more strongly. This can include Christian worship spaces, such as a “church” building or retreat centre, houses of prayer, a hike in the great outdoors. For many years I had found walking the coastline became the precious place for me to linger in God’s Presence. However, over the last year this changed and one of my goals for 2019 is to find the place when I tarry with God. Tarrying in God’s presence for me is the opportunity to slow down, remove any agenda and linger with God. As we tarry, we are attuning ourselves to the Person and presence of God, communing with God in closeness and intimacy.
It is like a deep well that we can draw on forever